Council backs local fish store

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
The council voted to support the business continuing with a number of conditions.
Camera IconThe council voted to support the business continuing with a number of conditions. Credit: WA News

A family business owner has delivered a passionate speech to Bunbury City Council in his bid to continue selling seafood out of his Glen Iris property.

Southwestern Fresh Fish owner and long-term fisherman Brian Scimone says “everyone is sick to death” of buying imported seafood and his family-run business is trying to meet local demand.

Mr Scimone addressed the council during its meeting this week when it considered retrospective development approval for his fish processing and freezing business on Jubilee Road.

It was discovered the business was running a retail outlet, despite not having the correct approvals.

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But Mr Scimone said the business had otherwise complied in “every single way” since 1992 and it had never had a negative report.

“We’ve been forced into this because there’s no other retail shops around selling fresh, local fish from WA waters, our pristine waters,” Mr Scimone said.

“I’ve fished here since 1979, I never thought in my wildest dream I’d be selling fish to the public — I thought my processors and co-ops and all that would handle it.

“As to traffic, smell, handling, all the councillors that have inspected my premises can’t believe the job we do out there.

“I haven’t had a bad report with anyone from the fish, as long as it’s fresh and as long as it’s local — everyone is sick to death, from buying imports from Vietnam, Thailand, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand.

“All we want to do is supply fish to the community at an affordable price ... we’re not making squillions, we just want to exist.”

In a landslide 9-1 vote, the council supported Mr Scimone’s business continuing with a number of conditions.

Deputy Mayor Jaysen Miguel said it was obvious Mr Scimone had made some minor changes to his business over the past few years, but he now had the correct development application.

“The City of Bunbury wants to be seen to be encouraging growth and business and encouraging business as much as it can,” Cr Miguel said.

“I look forward to seeing that local family business continue.”

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